Online Learning: Current State & Future Trends

Dec 4, 2023

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." 

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson.



Emerson’s idea of a mind getting stretched by a new idea and staying stretched is perhaps one of the most succinct definitions of effective learning. Unidirectional monochrome flow of content has never been the ideal education in society. In ancient India, learning happened in highly immersive, hands-on, practical environments like the famed Gurukuls. Even in medieval times, practices like apprenticeships and family businesses meant that most skills were learnt by doing and experiencing and improving constantly. The mechanized assembly line of education turned learning into an industrial output but this is a product of industrialization and colonization that prioritized production over presence, economics over experience. 



Giving autonomy to learners and making education learner-centric may have seemed a bit implausible fifty years ago in a world with standardized institutionalized education. Education flowed from a teacher to many learners. But how much learning really came out of this education? Highly motivated and focused learners always find a way but they have always been the exception, never the norm. With the advent of technology, the face of education has changed. It is fast moving from teacher-centered to learner-centered. This is largely possible due to factors. The first is the evolution of computers into accessible and affordable gadgets for the majority of people. This has created whole new ways to access and interact with educational content. The second one is the advent of the internet, and almost universal access to information and resources from all around the world. You don’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to hear the wise words of a famed teacher. You can simply find their books online or watch them teaching live or in a recording. This was the genesis of online learning in its earliest form. 



A significant milestone in the evolution of online learning was the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the 2010s. Platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity opened new channels of access to high-quality education from prestigious universities. This period also saw advancements in digital technology, including interactive tools and multimedia resources. Use of interactivity and multimedia in instruction is no longer a novelty enhancement, but a recommended and necessary experience to ensure a good learning experience. 



Necessity is the mother of innovation. As the Covid-19 pandemic forced shut schools and colleges and universities all over the world, the prospects for learning looked bleak. Online learning was the only way to continue this education for almost three years. As of late 2023, the pandemic has largely receded but now we know from first-hand experience what technology can do for learning. This technology is here to stay… and grow. 



With the rise of artificial intelligence and its prevalent use in education technology, new possibilities arise every day. It has accelerated a much needed shift from standardization to personalization. Virtual reality and Augmented reality technologies are making giant strides and may very well be ready for large-scale applications and ready access in a few years. AI and VR will give unprecedented autonomy to both educators and learners to design the instructional strategies and learning experiences. Nothing can replace a teacher but the ways teachings reach a learner will undergo massive revolutions as a result of these technologies. Learning will become more and more self-motivated, self-started, self-controlled, and self-assessed. Learning design excellence will evolve from being an add-on to one of the core differentiators between a successful and unsuccessful course. 



All of this may seem too much to take in if you are a traditional educator or even a traditional learner. Some people like to keep things simple, and there is nothing wrong with it. But simplicity shouldn’t be unidimensional. Even if you are an educator from a traditional setting, your learners may come from a variety of backgrounds and expectations. It may seem overwhelming to navigate through the complex maze of features and possibilities and industry standards. But worry not! We are here to help. We are curating content that helps you navigate these violent waters, these shifting sands. We realize that educators should not be expected to understand the nitty gritties of user experience, digital marketing, or multimedia tools, and so on. We help you convert your expertise into excellent learning experiences for the target audience of your choosing. We will provide you with a step-by-step guide to ensuring both you and your learners get the most out of a course.



As promised above, more thematically curated advisories and guidelines will follow soon. Stay tuned, share with your community, and reach out to us for more information!




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Historically, education thrived in practical, hands-on environments – from ancient Gurukuls to medieval apprenticeships and family businesses. Skills were mastered through direct experience, a stark contrast to the mechanized, monotonous teaching approach of the 20th century that was more an assembly line of texts and tests than education.

Learning has evolved greatly in the 21st century, and this is largely thanks to technology. We've moved from teacher-centric to learner-centric models, driven by two pivotal factors: the democratization of computers and the explosion of internet accessibility. These advancements have obliterated geographical barriers, allowing learners to access resources and expertise from around the globe effortlessly. A key milestone in this journey was the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the 2010s, bringing prestigious university education to the masses. The integration of interactive tools and multimedia in instruction transformed digital learning from a novelty to a necessity. The Covid-19 pandemic, while bringing unprecedented challenges, also accelerated the adoption of online learning. It highlighted the potential of technology in education, a trend that is here to stay and evolve.

The advent of AI and VR in education is now paving the way for a shift from standardized to personalized learning experiences. These technologies are granting educators and learners unprecedented autonomy in crafting educational strategies and experiences.

However, this rapid evolution can be overwhelming, especially for traditional educators and learners. But fear not – our goal is to simplify this transition. We are dedicated to helping educators navigate these changing tides, transforming their expertise into impactful learning experiences without the need to master every new tool or trend.

Stay tuned for more thematically curated advisories and guidelines. Share this with your community, and reach out to us for more insights into harnessing the power of technology in education.



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+91 9825921414

admin@thelearnerco.in

WeWork Salarpuria Symbiosis, Bannerghatta Main Road, Bengaluru - 560076

247Learnerco Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Careers

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

CONTACT DETAILS